Below is a shortened version of my latest piece for the Guardian's Comment is Free section.
Mark Pritchard is my local MP and he has secured a debate at Westminster about how to best ensure that Britain's Christian tradition is, and continues to be, recognised - a pity that he couldn't find time to secure a debate about how we can prevent services transferring from our local hospital over to Shrewsbury, but obviously he feels this issue is of greater importance. In my view it isn't.
I am a Catholic by upbringing and conviction but I find myself in agreement with Keith Porteous Wood of the National Secular Society who states:
“Christians have absolutely nothing to complain about in this country. The UK is the only Western democracy to give (Christian) Bishops the right to sit in our legislature as of right (26 of them), which they on occasion use to further their own advantage, such as seeking exemption from the Human Rights Act.
“We have a Christian church established by law, which gives it substantial privileges that are denied to others. It runs a third of our education system at taxpayers’ expense, it receives hundreds of millions of pounds in subsidy from the state and lottery every year and it has enormous tax advantages. Large mandatory amounts of time are allocated to it by our national broadcaster, it has publicly-funded representatives in every prison and most hospitals, and in all branches of the military. The head of state is a Christian, the Prime Minister is a Christian and almost all the cabinet are self-identified Christians. How on earth can anyone imagine that Christians are disadvantaged or pushed to the margins?"
Perhaps though what we are really witnessing with this debate are the first moves to try and establish a political arm for the Christian Right in Britain? Mr Pritchard should proceed with caution - it wasn't that long ago that the BNP were singing from a similar hymn sheet!